Passed Microsoft Exam 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

This Monday, I got certified for 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions, which is aimed at validating Microsoft Azure solution design skills. This test validates our knowledge about the features and capabilities of Azure services, ability to identify tradeoffs and make decisions for designing public and hybrid cloud solutions. Test also covers our knowledge and experience on defining the appropriate infrastructure and platform solutions to meet the required functional, operational, and deployment requirements through the solution lifecycle.

Preparation

Having true hands on experience with Windows Azure development really helps in preparing as well passing this exam. In addition to the practical knowledge gained through these experiences, I have used the following resources.

Skills measured

Design Microsoft Azure infrastructure and networking (15–20%)

  • Describe how Azure uses Global Foundation Services (GFS) datacenters
    • Understand Azure datacenter architecture, regional availability, and high availability
  • Design Azure virtual networks, networking services, DNS, DHCP, and IP addressing configuration
    • Extend on-premises Active Directory, deploy Active Directory, define static IP reservations, understand ACLs and Network Security Groups
  • Design Azure Compute
    • Design Azure virtual machines (VMs) and VM architecture for IaaS and PaaS; understand availability sets, fault domains, and update domains in Azure; differentiate between machine classifications
  • Describe Azure virtual private network (VPN) and ExpressRoute architecture and design
    • Describe Azure point-to-site (P2S) and site-to-site (S2S) VPN, understand the architectural differences between Azure VPN and ExpressRoute
  • Describe Azure services
    • Understand, at a high level, Azure load balancing options, including Traffic Manager, Azure Media Services, CDN, Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), Azure Cache, Multi-Factor Authentication, and Service Bus

Secure resources (15–20%)

  • Secure resources by using managed identities
    • Describe the differences between Active Directory on-premises and Azure AD, programmatically access Azure AD using Graph API, secure access to resources from Azure AD applications using OAuth and OpenID Connect
  • Secure resources by using hybrid identities
    • Use SAML claims to authenticate to on-premises resources, describe DirSync synchronization, implement federated identities using Azure Access Control service (ACS) and Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)
  • Secure resources by using identity providers
    • Provide access to resources using identity providers, such as Microsoft account, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo!
  • Identify an appropriate data security solution
    • Use the appropriate Access Control List (ACL), identify security requirements for data in transit and data at rest
  • Design a role-based access control strategy
    • Secure resource scopes, such as the ability to create VMs and websites

Design an application storage and data access strategy (15–20%)

  • Design data storage
    • Design storage options for data, including Table Storage, SQL Database, DocumentDB, Blob Storage, MongoDB, and MySQL; design security options for SQL Database or Azure Storage; identify the appropriate VM type and size for a solution
  • Design applications that use Mobile Services
    • Create Azure Mobile Services, consume Mobile Services from cross-platform clients, integrate offline sync capabilities into an application, extend Mobile Services using custom code, implement Mobile Services using Microsoft .NET or Node.js, secure Mobile Services using Azure AD
  • Design applications that use notifications
    • Implement push notification services in Mobile Services, send push notifications to all subscribers, specific subscribers, or a segment of subscribers
  • Design applications that use a web API
    • Implement a custom web API, scale using Azure Websites, offload long-running applications using WebJobs, secure a web API using Azure AD
  • Design a data access strategy for hybrid applications
    • Connect to on-premises data from Azure applications using Service Bus Relay, BizTalk Hybrid Connections, or the VPN capability of Websites, identify constraints for connectivity with VPN, identify options for joining VMs to domains or cloud services
  • Design a media solution
    • Describe Media Services, understand key components of Media Services, including streaming capabilities, video on-demand capabilities, and monitoring services

Design an advanced application (15–20%)

  • Create compute-intensive applications
    • Design high-performance computing (HPC) and other compute-intensive applications using Azure Services
  • Create long-running applications
    • Implement worker roles for scalable processing, design stateless components to accommodate scale
  • Select the appropriate storage option
    • Use a queue-centric pattern for development, select the appropriate storage for performance, identify storage options for cloud services and hybrid scenarios with compute on-premises and storage on Azure, differentiate between cloud services and VMs interacting with storage service and SQL Database
  • Integrate Azure services in a solution
    • Identify the appropriate use of machine learning, big data, Media Services, and search services

Design websites (15–20%)

  • Design websites for scalability and performance
    • Globally scale websites, create websites using Visual Studio, debug websites, understand supported languages, differentiate between websites to VMs and cloud services
  • Deploy websites
    • Implement Azure Site Extensions, create packages, hosting plans, deployment slots, resource groups, publishing options, Web Deploy, and FTP locations and settings
  • Design websites for business continuity
    • Scale up and scale out using Azure Websites and SQL Database, configure data replication patterns, update websites with minimal downtime, backup and restore data, design for disaster recovery, deploy websites to multiple regions for high availability, design the data tier

Design a management, monitoring, and business continuity strategy (15–20%)

  • Evaluate hybrid and Azure-hosted architectures for Microsoft System Center deployment
    • Understand, at an architectural level, which components are supported in Azure; describe design considerations for managing Azure resources with System Center; understand which scenarios would dictate a hybrid scenario
  • Design a monitoring strategy
    • Identify the Microsoft products and services for monitoring Azure solutions; understand the capabilities of System Center for monitoring an Azure solution; understand built-in Azure capabilities; identify third-party monitoring tools, including open source; describe use cases for Operations Manager, Global Service Monitor, and Application Insights; describe the use cases for Windows Software Update Services (WSUS), Configuration Manager, and custom solutions; describe the Azure architecture constructs, such as availability groups and update domains, and how they impact a patching strategy
  • Describe Azure business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) capabilities
    • Understand the architectural capabilities of BC/DR, describe Hyper-V Replica and Azure Site Recovery (ASR), describe use cases for Hyper-V Replica and ASR
  • Design a disaster recovery strategy
    • Design and deploy Azure Backup and other Microsoft backup solutions for Azure, understand use cases when StorSimple and System Center Data Protection Manager would be appropriate
  • Design Azure Automation and PowerShell workflows
    • Create a PowerShell script specific to Azure
  • Describe the use cases for Azure Automation configuration
    • Understand when to use Azure Automation, Chef, Puppet, PowerShell, or Desired State Configuration (DSC)

Good luck for your exams.

About Manesh

Manesh is a software consultant and solutions architect specializing in cloud, data, Linux and devops in the azure realm with key focus on hybrid workloads. He has been working on Azure technologies since its inception and has helped many enterprises to onboard and adapt to Azure cloud, build solutions for datacenter scale / high consumer applications and services. Currently, he is Microsoft certified for Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions (70-532), Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions(70-533) and Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions (70-534).

Posted on 2015/05/20, in Microsoft Azure and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi Manesh – good info you posted about exam 70-534. Let me ask you something. If I were an Azure Technical Sales Engineer and not an Implementation Engineer – do you think it would be fine if I hit 70-534 (Architecting Azure) first before doing 70-533 (Implementing Azure) later on? I read in some places (training courses) that 70-533 would be ideal before doing 70-734 but I think in my case the reverse would be better.

    I understand the main/core concepts of the topics in 70-533 but would have to study hard on the specific implementation details and Powershell stuff. The higher-level solution architecting appeals to me more and that’s why I think I want to hit 70-534 first. In fact, I have heard of some Technical Cloud Sales folks skipping 70-533 and doing just 70-534.

    Thoughts around this based on your experience having done both exams?

    Thanks!

  2. If your role is Technical Sales, then going directly to 70-534 is what I recommend. For 70-533, you need to be real hands-on with PowerShell etc. If that is not part of your day to day activity, then it will be very much effort from your side to learn those just for the exam. Also, do understand that exam and real world knowledge have some differences. For example, exam still focus on ACS, however we do not recommend ACS anymore, it is all getting replaced with AAD and all new features coming around AAD.

    For exam preparation, you can refer to http://www.amazon.com/70-534-Architecting-Microsoft-Azure-Solutions/dp/0735697442/ or https://www.opsgility.com/courses/player/architecting_microsoft_azure_solutions-70-534

    For your job role, I will recommend the following:
    1. Read through all the overview pages in Azure Documentation for each feature
    2. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/ > Documentation > Best Practices
    3. Two short videos per week – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/videos/azure-friday/
    4. Check out Azure blog – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/ (even if you don’t read through, just read through the titles)
    5. For the topics of your interest, look for videos in channel9 or MicrosoftVirtualAcademy. Azure is so big, and you can’t watch all videos. MVA has all the PPTX, you can quickly go through the PPTX without watching the video to understand at a high level, and at any point you need something specific you can watch the videos
    6. Subscribe to ‘Azure pricing and services updates‏’. Every two week, you will get a summary of key items you need to know.

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